Tuesday, February 28, 2012

"Brackfist"

Brackfist.

The most important meal of the day.

Yeah, you heard me. Brackfist.

At least that's what my mom and I say.  But you might know it as "breakfast."

I have to literally think of eggs to say it correctly.  

Br-EGG-fast.

It works for me most of the time, but my poor mom still struggles to say it right.

:)



I'm sure you've heard it before...Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.  I've always known it.  And I've never had a problem eating breakfast.  From the minute I wake up, I'm "starved."  So I've never had to be convinced to eat the most important meal of the day.  In fact, I've never been able to skip breakfast and make it until lunch before eating.  People that do that {ahem, Jonathan--my hubby} amaze me.  

If I skip breakfast I get hungry, cranky, and shaky.  You pretty much don't want to be around me until I've eaten.  So I've always eaten something in the mornings within an hour of waking up.  

Until recently.

When I became a full-time stay-at-home mom a few months ago I noticed one drastic change in my life.  I was skipping breakfast more often than not.  Weird, right?  Staying at home should make it easier to eat a meal each morning, but I find it more difficult.  By the time I make Brody something to eat and get him situated for the morning, many times I find myself less than enthused about preparing something for myself...even if by "preparing" I mean pouring a bowl of cereal.  

But lately, skipping breakfast has taken it's toll on me.  That's why I decided my first "Wholesome Choice" would be to get back to eating a healthy breakfast regularly.  

To give me a little kick in the tail pipe, I decided I would check out the Mayo Clinic's suggestions for a healthy breakfast.  They had a pretty good list of options that I thought I'd share with you...

  • Cooked oatmeal topped with almonds or dried cranberries
  • A whole-wheat pita stuffed with hard-boiled eggs
  • Leftover vegetable pizza
  • A tortilla filled with vegetables, salsa and low-fat shredded cheese
  • A smoothie blended from exotic fruits, some low-fat yogurt and a spoonful of wheat germ
  • Whole-wheat crackers with low-fat cheese or peanut butter
  • A microwaved potato topped with broccoli and grated Parmesan cheese
  • A whole-wheat sandwich with lean meat and low-fat cheese and as much lettuce, tomato, cucumber, and sweet peppers as you like
  • Multigrain pancakes with fruit and yogurt
  • A whole-grain waffle with peanut butter
  • Egg omelet with vegetables (use more egg whites than yolk)
If you're more of a cereal monster like Brody and his Uncle Chad, here are some things the Mayo Clinic wants you to consider...

    • Fiber. Choose cereals with at least 3 grams (g) of fiber per serving, but if possible, aim for 5 grams per serving or more.

    • Sugar. Having sugar doesn't automatically make a cereal unhealthy. But the healthiest choices have 5 or less grams of sugar per serving. Check the Nutrition Facts label. This lists total grams of sugar per serving, which includes both naturally occurring sugar and added sugar. Some cereals contain dried fruit, which has natural sugar and adds to the total amount of sugar. But these cereals may still be healthy choices if eaten in moderation. Avoid cereals that list sugar at or near the top of the ingredient list, or that list multiple types of added sugar, such as high fructose corn syrup, honey, brown sugar and dextrose.

    • Calories. If you're counting calories, choose cereals lower in calories, ideally less than 120 calories per serving. Some cereals have more calories per serving but can still be healthy choices.

    • Remember to top off your bowl of cereal with some sliced fruit and low-fat or skim milk. Or if you're on the go, take along a piece of fruit, a container of milk or some yogurt.

And if cereal bars are your on-the-go breakfast of choice, consider this...
Cereal bars also may be a good breakfast option. Just be sure to look for those that meet the same guidelines as dry cereal. Also, don't forget some fruit and low-fat milk or yogurt to round things out. Even fruit or yogurt cereal bars won't satisfy all your nutrition requirements for breakfast.

If you're really on the go and you need to stop somewhere on the way to your destination, McDonald's offers a variety of whole-grain meal choices on its breakfast menu, available all day.  The Fruit and Maple Oatmeal and the Apple Cinnamon Walnut Oatmeal are both 100% natural whole grain oats, rich in fiber and freshly prepared for you.  {Or, you can always grab Brody's favorite Micky-D's breakfast item...a yogurt granola parfait.}  McDonald's is committed to giving us more delicious choices to feel good about in the months and years to come. Regardless of your dietary needs, you'll find nutrient-minded choices at McDonald's.  

Thankfully, the fast food industry is beginning to come around and give us healthier options to fit our on-the-go lifestyles.  Keep in mind, however, that your healthiest choice is always to eat at home rather than grabbing food to go.  But at least we have some good back-up options available now when our pantry is lacking or it's just faster to go to a drive-thru.  Kudos to McDonald's for working on giving us healthier options.

You can follow McDonald’s Atlanta on Twitter @McDonaldsATL and check out their website for real-time promos, meal ideas and how to make the most of your McDonald’s experience:
http://www.mcdonalds.com/us/en/food/food_quality/nutrition_choices.html


Disclosure:
McDonald’s partnered with bloggers such as me to participate in its “Wholesome Choices”
 Blogger Program.  As part of that program, I received compensation.  They did not tell me what to purchase or what to say about the products used, and believe that consumers and bloggers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. McDonald’s policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, FTC guidelines and social media engagement recommendations.
  
***The wording in blue print contained in this post was directly taken from the Mayo Clinic's website {found here}.  Check out the link to get more detailed information about the benefits of eating a healthy breakfast and more good ideas to make it easier for your family.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Oh Snap!shots of the Week {21}

Happily Mother After
If this is your first time linking up you can check out the details about this party here.
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Because I am out of town and have enjoyed being with family way too much this past week to put together a new party today, I decided to continue the party from last week.  I hope you guys understand....I think we all just need a break from the norm every now and then.  I usually visit each and every one of your entries, but I have also slacked on that this week. I promise I will view them all this coming week.  I did glance over the them and noticed we haven't had many votes, so please be sure to vote for your favorite photos. If you don't, how will I know who to award as everyone's favorite next week?!?!



I'm looking forward to catching up with all of you over this next week and seeing all of your creativity flow!  You guys are awesome!

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Monday, February 20, 2012

McDonald's "Wholesome Choices" Blogger

I'm happy to announce that I am partnering with McDonald's on their Wholesome Choices Blogger Program!



I was contacted several weeks ago to participate in the Greater Atlanta Area McDonald's "Wholesome Choices" Blogger Program.  Seeming to be a bit of an oxymoron.....McDonald's and Wholesome Choices....I was curious.   But after doing some research and finding out more about the program, I decided to jump on board.


This program isn't simply about promoting McDonald's and convincing all of you to eat there.  It's about making a choice to take control of your life and your health.  Over the next few weeks, I will be sharing my own tips and ideas for making more wholesome choices in your everyday life...while sharing with all of you how I am making wholesome choices and changes to my everyday life. 


I hope that you too will make the choice now to commit to making some wholesome choices in your everyday life over the next several weeks.  I'd love for you to share those changes you are making, so please feel free to leave me a comment below. Let's encourage each other! 




Follow McDonald’s Atlanta on Twitter @McDonaldsATL and check out their website for real-time promos, meal ideas and how to make the most of your McDonald’s experience:
http://www.mcdonalds.com/us/en/food/food_quality/nutrition_choices.html




Disclosure:
McDonald’s partnered with bloggers such as me to participate in its “Wholesome Choices”
 Blogger Program.  As part of that program, I received compensation.  They did not tell me what to purchase or what to say about the products used, and believe that consumers and bloggers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. McDonald’s policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, FTC guidelines and social media engagement recommendations.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Oh Snap!shots of the Week {20}

Happily Mother After
If this is your first time linking up you can check out the details about this party here.
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Last week's "people's choice" favorite was this oh-so-messy photo of a sweet little boy named Josh.  Here he was creating his very first masterpiece.  I have to hand it to his Momma-good for you-allowing the mess for the simple pleasure of having fun! I need to learn from you! 

Photography by Kelly-Marie at Our Footprints on the World

Kelly-Marie, this badge is for you!
Happily Mother After

My favorite photo from last week's party was this double-exposure of a guitar and a field of flowers.  I love the way these two blend together in perfect harmony! This photo comes from a newbie, so be sure to check out her blog!

Photography by Danielle at SHAKA

Danielle, this badge is for you!
Happily Mother After


And lastly, I just had to feature this photo of "bugs in a field."  How creative is this?! There are several other fun works of art in this same field and you can view a few more of them on Jessica's blog. {Jessica is also somewhat of a newbie to the party so be sure to spread the love!}
Photography by Jessica at Suitcases and Sippy Cups


Jessica, this badge is for you!
Happily Mother After
 


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My favorite photo this week was taken at my college bestie's wedding on Saturday.  The wedding was simple but detailed, sweet but chic, and one I will always remember {mainly because she is a friend I will never forget}.


I have never witnessed a wedding where the couple kissed more throughout the day/night than Chantal and Brian did that day....usually when they thought nobody was watching.  It was special to see, and I am so very thankful she found a good man that I know will always take care of her.  They compliment each other in the best possible way.




Congratulations, Chantal and Brian! 
We love you both and wish you many years of happiness together!


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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

"Hand"-made Valentines

This year, giving Valentines from Brody was so much fun.  He was an active participant in the process, whispering and scheming with me as we crafted something special behind closed doors for his daddy and both sets of grandparents.

I saw {this} cute little handmade card on Pinterest several months ago and pinned it in anticipation of Valentine's Day.  I could hardly wait to make these with Brody, and I was pretty pleased with how they turned out.




I love how excited he was to help with this project, and I can't wait to see what else we can create together next year for the ones we love. :)

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

My Funny Valentine

Growing up, my mom and dad always had a special treat waiting for each one of us {my brothers and I} on Valentine's Day.  My mom would usually leave her special something for us on our beds and my dad would find a way to give us a special surprise throughout the day.

So the past two years I carried out my mother's tradition, hiding Valentine's surprises in Brody's bed.  And this year, Brody's third Valentine's Day, he still found a special Valentine from me in his bed {even though we are in Florida at Wynni and JimPop's house}.

It was much more fun to watch him find his Valentine present this year though, as he is beginning to understand each holiday as well as the joy of giving {and receiving, of course!}


He enjoyed the cookie.

He enjoyed the toys and books.

But I think one of his favorite parts was reading the musical card.  That boy loves music and he loves to dance!  He has been playing with the card I gave him as well as the card his JimPop gave him {also musical} over and over again.

Happy Valentine's Day to My Funny Little Valentine!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Oh Snap!shots of the Week {19}

Happily Mother After
If this is your first time linking up you can check out the details about this party here.
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Last week's "people's choice" favorite was this amazing photo of water dripping from a faucet.  Can you believe it? I had no idea what I was looking at when I first came across this photo, but if you check out Jaymi's blog you can read a great tutorial on how she made her dripping faucet look amazing!

Photography by Jaymi at Live, Love, Travel

Jaymi, this badge is for you!
Happily Mother After


My favorite photo from last week was this sweet shot of little hands clasped for prayer.  There is just something about seeing little ones bowing their heads in prayer that makes me happy.  And I love how the lighting around those precious fingers gives this photo an angelic feeling.
Photography by Lori at La-La's Home Daycare

Lori, this badge is for you!
Happily Mother After

I decided that last week's "runner-up" for y'all's favorite photo should be this week's featured photo.  Meet Cleopatra. Aren't those eyes beautiful?
Photography by Ana at 365+1 Project

Ana, this badge is for you!
Happily Mother After
 


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My favorite photo from this week was taken yesterday when my mom and I took Brody for a little walk in the sand.  The beach was overtaken with seagulls which made the walk a thousand times more exciting for  B.Boy.  He ran along the shoreline screaming, "You go away birds!" and giggled with excitement as they flew away.  :)


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Before you begin linking up, I just wanted to throw out a quick little "bonus" for each of you at this week's Oh Snap! party.  Capturing Couture is offering 20% off in celebration of Valentine's.  Just click the image below to check out all of the beautiful camera accessories on their site and enter CCLOVE2012 at checkout to receive an incredible 20% off!  
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{I bought my camera strap at Capturing Couture and I LOVE LOVE LOVE it!}


Capturing Couture LOVE sale

Capturing Couture is offering 20% off in celebration of Valentine's.  Just click the image below to check out all of the beautiful camera accessories on their site and enter CCLOVE2012 at checkout to receive an incredible 20% off!  

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{I bought my camera strap at Capturing Couture and I LOVE LOVE LOVE it!}




Friday, February 3, 2012

Oh Snap!shots of the Week {18}

Happily Mother After
If this is your first time linking up you can check out the details about this party here.
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Y'all's  favorite photo from last week was this beautiful snow-covered tree.  I think I loved it so much because I was able to enjoy it from someone else's lens rather than dealing with it myself.  Is it just me or is anyone else glad we haven't had any snow in GA this year?  I'm lovin' the warmer winter!

Photography by Jaymi at Live, Love, Travel

Jaymi, this badge is for you!
Happily Mother After

In keeping with the cold weather theme, I picked this amazing shot as my favorite from last week.  Don't you just love how the ice has encompassed every branch on this tree as well as the leaves?  So pretty! 
Photography by Emily at Scattered Horizons

Emily, this badge is for you!
Happily Mother After

This week I wanted to feature Dina from 4 Lettre Words.  She took this cute photo of her kitty which is quite simply darling.  Dina always takes beautiful photos and she is one you'll want to keep your eye out for at these weekly parties. :)
Photography by Dina at 4 Lettre Words

Dina, this badge is for you!
Happily Mother After
 

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Before we begin linking up photos, I just want to share a little goodie for those of you linking up.  My friend Vanessa, is hosting her very first giveaway on her blog, Daily Delivered.  If you've hosted a giveaway, you know how exciting your first giveaway can be and how anxious you are about people actually competing for the prize.  So please take a moment to check out her blog and consider participating in her giveaway.  It's  worth $20. But hurry, because the giveaway ends today {2/3/12}.  You have nothing to lose and the odds are in your favor as her blog is new-ish {which means a low entry for the giveaway!!!}  So go on, link up your photo and then head on over to her blog for a chance to win something awesome!

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